“Greater Protection of Children in the Caribbean” By Felicia Browne

The Domestic Violence Act ensures greater protection of victims. In many cases, children and vulnerable members of the household are caught between the disputes of their parents or family members.

Though, domestic violence has continued to remain a major concern for children’s rights activists, such concerns include the vulnerability of children during violent disputes. Children, like many vulnerable persons, are at greater threat primarily due to their inabilities to protect themselves from physical and bodily harm.

The need for greater protection of children in domestic disputes should be given full consideration of the law. Children have been known to have suffered severely through the various acts of sexual and physical harm; and in some cases even death by the hands of parents or family members. Felicia Browne applauds the police force and community members for the immediate intervention which have saved the life of the young child. She adds that domestic violence is a still a very serious concern for many of our societies;-

We have continued to observe the detrimental effects of Domestic Violence on the victims and their families. We should continue to ensure that governmental and civil societies conduct the necessary follow- ups on existing reports of domestic abuse. For instance, we have had many instances of repeat domestic abuse cases which have led to devastating outcomes.

“It is critically important that families, as well as perpetrators receive the necessary intervention that it needed. We just cannot continue to assume that violence or abuse within such homes will go away. We should ensure that every community member is aware of the signs of abuse and what steps they can take to prevent such harm- in particular on young children.”

The Human Rights advocate adds although many Caribbean countries made progress in Domestic Violence legislation and the protection of Victims, she is adamant that vulnerable communities are still at risk where domestic violence is concerned. Children, she adds, though protected under the law, are always at greater risk when family members that are obligated to protect them, become violent or abusive. Children have the right to live from violence within their homes and communities.

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